After not being able to secure a spot in Racing Point, Esteban Ocon then signed for the position of Mercedes F1 team reserve driver. He recently looked back at that time as being “very very demanding”. Ocon in an interview said “I was not sleeping for two days [at a time], it was quite crazy - the amount of travel I was doing, and the amount of hours I was doing in the simulator and then travelling to track, doing stuff for Mercedes. They used me well, but a lot”.
During his role as a reserve he took part in an intense simulator programme, and would frequently travel between the factory and the track. He admitted that “So, I arrived, to be honest, after testing in Abu Dhabi, at my training camp [I was] the lightest I've ever been. I was destroyed basically, from the year.”
Despite this challenging year, Ocon believes his arriving into the season of 2020 the strongest he’s ever been. He admits that the changes in drivers weight regulations helped him to transform himself, reaching his own targets and putting more muscle for the upcoming drivers role at Renault for the coming season.
After a year of break, Ocon will be driving alongside of Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian recently expressed he is ready for the Frenchman’s “threat”, but no clashes between them are to be expected. The French team is finally going to have a French driver under their wings.